Saturday, March 9, 2013

Literary Exertions - Guest Post from Gary Beck

Literary Exertions
Gary Beck
Although I was an accomplished dramatist, I found myself learning a new craft. Novel writing was reinventing the wheel, since I was the consumate loner, always working by myself. My work as a writer encompasses mulitple disciplines; poetry, drama, short fiction, essays and novels. Until recently, I had wide acceptance by publishers of everything but novels. I was also fortunate to build relations with some exceptional editors and fellow poets. Then, within a short time, two novels were accepted. My first novel, Acts of Defiance, set in the 1950s and 60s, is a tale of two very different boys, one rich, one poor, who become close friends. They go from mischievous youth to opposite sides on the Vietnam war, one an objector, the other a marine. Despite different beliefs they continue their friendship and get involved in social and political issues that lead them to confront authority. The story encompasses coming of age, sex, various adventures that result in their challenging the system. Much of this book reflects the extremes of the sixties and it was an anguish and delight as it unfolded.
My second novel sprang from my pen with almost rapturous flow. I wrote daily without monitoring the output and when I stopped one day to look at a massive pile of manuscript, it was 1400 pages. It took a while for stubborn me to accept that no one would publish it, then I turned it into a trilogy, revised and wrote transitions so they stood on their own. I ended up with three books, each over 150,000 words, that no one would touch. My next novel, “Extreme Change”, recently released as an ebook by Cogwheel Press, print to follow, is about a college couple at Southern Michigan State falling in love, marrying, moving to Detroit, where they have two children, then are driven out by urban blight. They come to New York City and at first they flourish, then a dispute with their landlord leads to an arsonist burning them out and they get trapped in the homeless system. They face a terrifying struggle to survive and preserve their family, and finally, with the help of new found friends, escape the system and get ready to rebuild their lives. The book is rich in the emotional lives of the characters as they face domestic and dangerous situations.
I am, by nature, a storyteller, at a time when serious literature is concerned with brilliant writing, rather than the emotional lives of characters, deeply immersed in the passions of their times. It is always my intention to enrich the reader, not impress them with my cleverness.
Extreme change at Amazon:

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